Developing a Lifestyle of Generosity

Published in: Update - Issue 1 - 2015 »   
Graphic of side profile of a white ceramic pig with the Leader Dogs for the Blind logo on the side

Every day at Leader Dogs for the Blind we get to witness people who are living a lifestyle of generosity—our many volunteers. Some work on campus, though many are off-campus puppy raisers or breeding dog hosts. After spending time with these volunteers, you find out that they have brought joy into their lives by being generous with their time to Leader Dog.

Not everyone lives near Leader Dog or has time in their day to volunteer; these people find their lifestyle of generosity through meaningful donations that allow Leader Dogs for the Blind to continue our important work. Many reach further to leave a legacy of generosity by including Leader Dogs for the Blind in their estate plans.

When generosity becomes a lifestyle, life takes on a new glow. A sense of appreciation and satisfaction and a feeling of selfworth and celebration come from knowing you are enriching other people’s lives. This glow is well voiced by Brad Formsma, author of I Like Giving, who states, “When we choose to give, we change, and the people around us change. When we move from awareness to action, miracles happen. When we allow giving to be our idea, a world of possibilities opens up before us, and we discover new levels of joy.”

When developing your lifestyle of generosity, keep these items in mind:

  • Keep your estate plans up to date - Make sure present life events are current in your Will and consider listing a percentage or specific dollar amount for Leader Dog.
  • Life Insurance - It is easy to gift a life insurance policy that you no longer need to Leader Dog. Some people choose to buy a policy and pay the premiums in full, naming Leader Dogs for the Blind as owner and/or beneficiary.
  • Charitable Remainder Trust - These trusts are a great way to receive income for a lifetime, avoid capital gains taxes, reduce income and estate taxes, and make a significant gift to Leader Dog.
  • Charitable Gift Annuities - Annuities allow you to receive income for life and provide a gift to Leader Dog.

Please contact Roberta Trzos, CFRE, director of personal giving at 248/659.5014 or rtrzos@leaderdog.org for help in developing a lifestyle of generosity that fits your needs.